parkrun turns ten!

What a few weeks in parkrun world.

Firstly, they launch a brand, spanking new range of merchandise through global partner Wiggle. Many questioned why this wasn’t launched through their UK partner Sweatshop. The answer being, that Sweatshop can only distribute to the UK, whereas Wiggle, much ike parkrun, has a global reach. parkrun still maintain a great relationship with founding partner Sweatshop and I’m sure they understand the need to work with Wiggle too.

Then, they go and launch a parkrun wristband through the barcode scanner provider, ERS. These wristbands get printed with your runner barcode, so you can wear it on the run and you won;t lose it, nor will you get it so sweaty that its unscannable!

parkrun is and always will be free, but the fact of the matter is there are so many fans and people that WANT to contribute and “give something back” that something like this was, in my opinion inevitable. Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and the team at HQ will have gone to great lengths to preserve the ethos of parkrun for both of these arrangements. parkrun is growing at an astounding rate and being able to generate some revenue (though ALL proceeds go back directly to the events – parkrun will forever remain not-for-profit) these products are a fantastic way to support parkrun and contribute to the further growth and sustainability to your free, weekly, timed 5ks.

AND they went and turned 10 years old, and featured on the BBC! There were over 1700 runners at the “home” of parkrun, Bushy Park.

So where were you?

Due to a family party, I had to spend the weekend away from my home parkrun and instead attend my second home, Basingstoke. I’d not run at Basingstone for many months and knew I was in for a big PB. But that was turned to a nervous anxiety abut it when, due to the Basingstoke Half Marathon the following day, the run was switched to its alternate course at Crabtree Plantation. Crabtree is more than a little “Undulating” with an absolute beast of a hill, which needed to be run twice! Jodie was also looking for a big PB and upon learning of the switch to Crabtree had written off the possibility…. but more on that later!

It was however, walkable to the start for us. We made it in time for the run brief, but as we started moving from the brief to the start line the heavens opened. it was like a scene from Noah. Jodie and I were eve tempted to walk home! But we stuck at it and we made a start with the rest of the field.

Credit: Martin Cranshaw (kittensoft_run)
Credit: Martin Cranshaw (kittensoft_run)

These photos were taken near the start. Thankfully, the rain stopped about 2 minutes after the start and eased into a fine drizzle. Still not brilliant conditions, but they weren’t as horrendous as we feared.

Credit: Martin Cranshaw (kittensoft_run)
Credit: Martin Cranshaw (kittensoft_run)

I’m not sure why, but the run seemed to fly by for me. Before I knew it I’d done one lap and I was heading up the hill for a second time! I even managed to (Shamefully) lap someone, which is a first in my entire running career. However the poor lady I lapped DID have not only a pushchair, but also a small child who she was running with. I have to applaud her for her commitment and dedication, If I was ED at Basingstoke she’d be the winner of the monthly prize for that achievement alone! An goes to show just what parkrun is all about and what it stands for.

Credit: Martin Cranshaw (kittensoft_run)
Credit: Martin Cranshaw (kittensoft_run)

I managed to get the PB that was long overdue and finish in a creditable 21st (top 10%!) which is an overall parkrun PB and my first parkun with a 60% WAVA in 21.36. But the biggest surprise was Jodie! She ALSO set an overall PB! She was just dead chuffed!

Credit: Caz Partner (loveparkrun)
Credit: Caz Partner (loveparkrun)

Though needless to say we are both itching to get back to the main course – we have scores to settle!

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